I am still amazed and nostalgic on how everything came by so fast.  Risen is now 5 and for first time parents like us, we are both "humble and proud" on how these years happened.  And of course, as a mom  (and dad Bryan), we only want the best for our child so we did everything we could.  However,  I also understand that our best may not be your version of best and vice versa.  But please let me still share the decisions we made in raising Risen that we do not regret at all.  I am not an advocate of these tips, however, I would also like to be honest.  My desire is that you will consider these "steps" that we did that really helped us, not only in parenting Risen.  These decisions we made in being intentional with Risen helped our marriage, our family, ministry and generally in life.  And if you disagree, it is okay.  You are the best mother to your kids.  I am sure, you are doing great as well!!

Training #1

Sleep Training using Baby Wise (this is a book on sleep training).  We decided and scheduled Risen's nap time since he was 2 months old.  Yep.  I remember his schedule will be like:

6:00 am wake up

6:15 feeding time

6:30 cuddle time

7:30 or 8:00 nap time

9:00 wake time  (this schedule goes on until 6pm)

The results?
1.  Risen sleeps soundly from 6pm to 6am the next day. No feeding in between.
2.  I never became a zombie/puyat mom.  I enjoyed night time with Bryan.  We were never deprived of  "quality time".  Wives, this is important ;)
3.  We do not guess why he is crying because he has a schedule.  If he is cranky, this could only mean he is not feeling well because again we are sure that he is fed and rested.

Risen when he tries to sleep on his own

Training #2
We did not rock him to sleep.  When the time says "sleeping time", we just lay him down in his crib and he sleeps on his own.  of course I still rub my hand softly on his back to sooth him and let him know I am beside him

The results?
1.  I can do more because my time and energy is not wasted putting him to sleep.
2.  Bryan can put him to sleep.
3.  The grandparents can put him to sleep.
4.  We can leave him and just tell the guardian his schedule.  No troubles.  No guessings if he is sleepy or not.
5.  We can plan our chores, errands and travels.

Training #3
1.  Risen stays in the car seat  Since we have a schedule to follow (This was revised to 3 naps, to 2 then eventually to 1 nap), we drive when  he will be asleep.

The results?
1.  Travelling has been a joy.  I stay seated in the front seat, while Risen is at the back.
2.  Risen can endure traffic.  He can stay in his seat belt (with toys) for 3-4 hours.  No whining.  No fuzz.

Training #4
He eats what is on the table and only on the table.  The day we gave him solid, he only eats on his high chair and the dining table.  Not in front of the TV or a gagdet (except with his lola!!), not while playing, not in bed.  If he does not eat, I say "okay.  but this is the only food we have".  When he asks for "other food", I say "no, I do not run a restaurant".

The results?
1.  He basically eats anything (except Ampalaya and spicy food)
2. We can go to restaurants and order what we want because we are sure he will eat it too
3.  He does not go up and down the chairs when we eat out
4.  He likes S&R because of free taste haha

Training #5
No gadgets at home.  This is maybe the most difficult thing we have to deal with because IT IS SO TEMPTING TO GIVE HIM AN IPAD.  But you know what made it easier?  The schedule that we have for him.  Because he has a routine, it is very easy to plan what our day will be like. I know what time he will wake up, play and sleep.  Setting your child's body clock is so possible.  The first two weeks will be hard but imagine he sleeps through the night at 3 months old!  Risen is allowed to play with his Ipad when we are in meetings and discipleship groups only.

The results?
1.  He is not gadget dependent
2.  He plays and can play alone for 3-4 hours

Training #6
We did not give him much freedom even while crawling and learning to walk.  He was not allowed in the kitchen and on the stairs.  We made sure he recognize his space and stays on this.  We believe that giving to much choices and freedom makes kids wise in their own eyes.  Freedom may be given but only when it is age appropriate.

The results?
1.  He does not run around in malls as a toddler.  He walks with us (or happily stays in the stroller)
2.  He explored the "right spaces".  Not the stove, nor the toilet bowl or the tables.
3.  We did not have to exaggeratedly childproof our home because he know what he can touch and what he cannot play with

To end, I want parents to know that there are answers to our usual cries of "hindi ako pinatulog/aya matulog", "iyak ng iyak, hindi ko alam ang gusto", "nag tantrums", "picky eater", "ayaw mapirme sa upuan".  We can train our kids, mommies.  And sometimes in starts even before they turn one year old.

Obviously, Risen is not perfect and we fail as parents too.  However, to be honest, if there is  one thing we do not regret doing to Risen is training him on these things.  Our hugot?  This is all Bible based.  To be direct, letting our kids do what they want (even at an early age) is not Biblical.

Proverbs 22:6

Train your children onto the right path,

    and when they are older, they will not leave it.

Luke 2:52

Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
 God tells us that the burden is on us.  That we have to train them.  There is so much wisdom in this because training Risen made us not leave the ministry just because we have kids.  Our world also did not became too small because we have a toddler in tow.  Our marriage is happier because intimacy is present.  Our lives and days were planned even though Risen is just months old. We enjoyed being with Risen because he is not a chore to be with. This can be done, and I hope you choose it to.  But then again, I believe in you more than my suggestions, Mommy :)  Do you, do great.

Some kids have nutrition and behavioral concerns.  Consult doctors if necessary.  I am not an expert on the Science of sleep training.

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